Rail passengers want simpler compensation process


Research shows passengers want train companies to make the process of claiming compensation for delays simpler and more transparent.

Passengers want companies to do more to tell people who have been delayed that they are entitled to compensation – and to help them understand how to claim.

Passenger Focus, London TravelWatch and transport company FirstGroup, have asked passengers how they wish to be compensated for delays in an effort to improve current practice.

The research revealed that passengers favour a system that allows them to claim compensation each time they are delayed, regardless of their ticket type, rather than one based on the average performance on a route or train company, which may not match their personal experience.

Passengers said that they would prefer compensation to be paid in the same way they paid for their ticket: paper vouchers, the rail industry’s traditional method of payment, were rejected by passengers.

The research also highlighted that some passengers are put off claiming because of confusion caused by compensation policies that vary from train company to train company.

Anthony Smith, Passenger Focus chief executive, said: “It is clear that passengers want train companies to make more effort to tell them they can claim compensation – and to take the hassle out of the process of claiming.

“Passengers prefer to be compensated for specific delays, rather than against an obscure figure for average performance. Finally, paper vouchers have had their day – passengers want compensation in cash or back to their bank account or credit card.”

Passenger Focus will use the research as part of its submissions to government and the industry about future rail franchises.


  1. Season ticket holders get a vast discount compared to what occasional users, on Anytime Singles or Returns pay. If they want compensation for individual journeys they can simply buy an Anytime ticket each day.

    I don’t agree with cash compo either, as this money will leak from the industry to be spent on shoes, handbags, beer, games consoles and, even worse, petrol. Paper is outdated, so a voucher code system could be set up to be used for online rail ticket purchases.


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